Colchester, Fortress of the War God: an Archaeological Assessment [Hardback]

David Radford (Author); Adrian Gascoyne (Author); Philip Wise (Editor)

£45.00
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ISBN: 9781842175088 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Urban Archaeological Assessment | Year of Publication: 2013 | Language: English 352p, 100 b/w illus.




Colchester, Fortress of the War God

Details

This volume is a critical assessment of the current state of archaeological knowledge of the settlement originally called Camulodunon and now known as Colchester. The town has been the subject of antiquarian interest since the late 16th century and the first modern archaeological excavations occurred in 1845 close to Colchester Castle, the towns most prominent historic site. The earliest significant human occupation recorded from Colchester dates to the late Neolithic, but it was only towards the end of the 1st century BC that an oppidum was established in the area. This was superseded initially by a Roman legionary fortress and then the colonia of Camulodunum on a hilltop bounded on the north and east by the river Colne. There is little evidence for continuing occupation here in the early post-Roman period, but in 917 the town was re-established as a burgh and gradually grew in importance. After the Norman Conquest, a castle was built on the foundations of the ruined Roman Temple of Claudius, and a priory and an abbey were established just to the south of the walled town. Although the town, as elsewhere, was affected by the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the English Civil War it remained essentially medieval in character until the 18th century. During the 19th century this process of change was accelerated by the arrival of the railway, industrialisation and the establishment of the military garrison. Since the 1960s Colchester has been subject to recurring phases of re-development, the most recent having ended only in 2007, which have had a significant impact on the historic environment. Fortunately the town is one of the best studied in the country.

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. The history of archaeology in Colchester
The antiquarians and collectors
The excavators
The Colchester Archaeological Trust

2. Geology and the Deposit Model
Geology
The Deposit Model

3. Prehistoric Colchester
Introduction
Past work
The finds evidence
The archaeological evidence
Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic
The Bronze Age
The early and middle Iron Age
The current state of knowledge
Preservation
Importance
Potential for future research

4. Camulodunon in the late Iron Age
Introduction and historical framework
Past work
The finds evidence
The archaeological evidence
The oppidum
The dykes
Settlement – Sheepen
Other settlement evidence
Manufacturing and trade
Agriculture and the field system
Burials and ritual structures
The current state of knowledge
Importance
Preservation
Potential for future research

5. The Roman legionary fortress, AD43–49
Introduction and historical framework
Past work
The finds evidence
The archaeological evidence
Military structures outside the legionary fortress
Gosbecks fort
Fingringhoe supply base
The road network
Siting, preparation, laying-out and construction of the fortress
Fortress defences
Fortress streets
Barrack blocks
Other military buildings
Construction of the fortress buildings
Industrial activity
Food, water supply and drainage
Disposal of the dead
Claudian occupation evidence and Iron Age continuity
The current state of knowledge
Preservation
Importance
Potential for future research

6. The early Roman colonia, AD 49–61
Introduction and historical framework
Past work
The finds evidence
The archaeological evidence
The creation of the colonia and its hinterland
Fortress into colonia: the revised layout
Defences
Buildings of the colonia
Public buildings
Manufacturing and trade
Diet
Cemeteries
Resistance to Rome – evidence for the Boudican revolt
The current state of knowledge
Preservation
Importance
Potential for future research

7. The later Roman town, AD 61–410
Introduction and historical framework
Past work
The archaeological evidence
Topographical organisation
Boundaries, defences and roads
Public and monumental buildings and structures
Water supply
Domestic and commercial buildings
Manufacturing and trade
Farming strategies and diet
Religious and burial practice
Extramural development
The current state of knowledge
Preservation
Importance
Potential for future research

8. Early Anglo-Saxon Colchester, 410–916
Introduction and historical framework
Past work
The finds evidence
The archaeological evidence
Occupation
Coins
Burials
Possessions
Pottery
The current state of knowledge
Preservation
Importance
Potential for future research

9. Late Anglo-Saxon Colchester, 917–1066
Introduction and historical framework
Past work
The nature of the evidence
The finds evidence
The archaeological evidence
Town defences, street systems and urban plan
Religious buildings
Secular buildings
Pottery and metalwork
Manufacturing and trade
The late Anglo-Saxon countryside
Administrative frameworks
Settlement and religious buildings
Landscape management and rural resources
Communications
The current state of knowledge
Preservation
Importance
Potential for future research

10. Early medieval Colchester, 1066–1348
Introduction and historical framework
Past work
The nature of the evidence
The finds evidence
The archaeological evidence
The castle
Town defences
Streets
Later changes to the keep, bailey buildings and defences
Public buildings and works
Domestic architecture
Open space
Suburbs
The re-use of Roman materials
The Hythe, commerce, trade and manufacturing
The market
Fairs
The Hythe
Fishing industry
Foreign and internal trade
Pottery industry
Cloth industry
Leather industry
Metal-working
Other trades, crafts and manufacturing industries
Lime production
Mills
The countryside
Administrative framework
Agriculture
Landscape management
Settlement and religious buildings
The current state of knowledge
Preservation
Importance
Potential for future research
Colchester medieval deposits: biological remains

11. Late medieval Colchester, 1349–1540
Introduction and historical framework
Past work
The nature of the evidence
The finds evidence
The archaeological evidence
The urban plan
Public buildings and works
The town wall, town gates and castle
Manufacturing and trade
Other activities
Domestic and commercial architecture
Cellars and undercrofts
The religious foundations and charitable institutions
Churches
The countryside
The current state of knowledge
Preservation
Importance
Potential for future research

12. Post-medieval Colchester, 1540–1700
Introduction and historical framework
Past work
The nature of the evidence
Summary of finds assemblages
The archaeological evidence
The urban plan
Impact of the Dissolution
Public buildings and other works
The Hythe
The town wall, town gates and castle
Domestic and commercial architecture
Standing buildings
Excavated buildings
Brick and tile
Manufacturing and trade
The cloth industry
The Civil War
Agriculture
The current state of knowledge
Preservation
Importance
Potential for future research

13. Post-1700 Colchester
Introduction and historical framework
Assessment of importance and potential

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